Thursday, January 10, 2013
Colbeck says SB 802 requires all state departments to disclose tax dollars are spent; SB 21 offers 'a valuable tool to rein in government spending.'
Thursday, January 10
Dear Editor, Ever wonder where all of your state taxpayer dollars go? I do. In fact, it was one of the questions that led me to run for office. As a concerned citizen, I had requested state spending information from our representatives. I was frustrated by the lack of useful information provided in response to my queries. Upon entering into public service myself, I understand why my previous requests met with such poor results. They didn’t have access to the information either. Thankfully, the lack of useful spending data has now been addressed with the passage of SB 802, which I introduced to require all state departments to publicly disclose how they are spending our money. The spending plans for each department in state government …
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Plymouth and Canton legislators introduced many bills, missed few votes in 2012.
Local representatives for Plymouth and Canton had a productive year in Lansing, according to MichiganVotes.org, a voting records database published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Dian Slavens, a Canton Democrat representing Michigan's 21st House District, introduced 27 bills or resolutions, including 14 that were passed by the House. Among the proposed bills introduced by Slavens were House Bill 2907, which establishes procedures for replacing a county executive removed by the governor for misconduct and House Bill 5846, which would require officeholders who switch parties to refund campaign contributions made during the preceding year, with interest. Slavens missed just one of the Michigan House's 914 votes in 2012, Senate …
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Maralyn O'Brien disturbed by legislation that recently passed the Michigan Senate that could remove regulatory controls over premium rate increases by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Dear Editor, I’m disturbed by legislation that recently passed the Michigan Senate that would effectively remove all regulatory controls over premium rate increases by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Insurance premiums are already high enough in this state without making it even easier for a monopoly like BCBSM to jack up rates. Everyone should be very concerned in that BCBSM already controls 70% of the insurance market in this state. On top of that, BCBSM is being sold to a mutual insurance company by the same name that will have no charitable mission to keep costs low. But despite the obvious dangers in deregulating such a monopoly, the Michigan Senate rammed through this ill-conceived idea just four weeks after it was proposed. …
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Michigan Senate joins the House in voting to lift the safety requirement for riders older than 21.
Michigan will become the 31st state to give motorcyclists the option of wearing a helmet since Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation, his office announced today. Motorcyclists who are 21 or older can ride without a helmet if they have at least an additional $20,000 in medical insurance and passed a motorcycle safety course or had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years. Opponents of state mandates feel use should be a personal choice. They say helmets can limit peripheral vision, muffle traffic awareness sounds and create additional injury risk because of their weight. Arguments in favor of crash helmets cite safety studies, lower public medical costs, eye protection if face shields are used and reduced fatigue by improving …
Friday, March 16, 2012
Senate-passed bill would affect new motorists with graduated licenses.
Cellphones and the youngest drivers don't go together safely, a majority of Michigan senators believe. Under a proposal that passed the Senate by a 28-10 vote Thursday, teens with Level 1 or 2 graduated licenses could be ticketed and fined for driving while chatting on a phone – even in hands-free mode. The bill now goes to the state House. Backers want to reduce risky distractions among newcomers behind the wheel. Some senators voted against the measure because they favor a broader crackdown, the Associated Press reports. The legislation is called "Kelsey's Law" in memory of a Sault Ste. Marie 17-year-old who had a fatal crash while talking on her phone in 2010. Teens with Level 3 licenses, typically issued to 17-year-olds, would be …
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Senate panel approves anti-abortion plates with 7-0 bipartisan vote.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Under legislation sponsored by Sen. Pat Colbeck (R-Canton), anti-abortion messages soon could be an option for state-issued specialty license plates. Senate Bill 600, approved unanimously today by a senate panel and facing consideration by the entire Michigan senate, would create a "Choose Life" specialty vehicle license plate, according to a news release from Colbeck's office. Funds raised from the sale of the plates would go to support anti-abortion organizations and projects. “Michigan residents have long supported policies that encourage alternatives to abortion and our Choose Life license plate program echoes that sentiment,” Colbeck said in a news release. “It will provide drivers a way to promote abortion alternatives and protect …
Thursday, November 3, 2011
State Democrats and the father of the victim after whom the bill was named have denounced the bill because of the exception for religious beliefs or moral convictions. One senator gave an impassioned speech against the bill. What do you think?
The state Senate yesterday passed a new bill that would require school districts to implement anti-bullying policies. But the bill is drawing criticism from Democrats and the father of the victim after whom the bill was named. The critics say the bill creates a special exception for bullies who have "a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction," as well as neglecting to protect against bullying by students based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according to a story by the Huffington Post. Known as Matt's Safe School Law, the bill effectively bans harassment in schools and requires every district to have an anti-bullying policy. The law was inspired by Matt Epling, a Michigan teen who committed suicide shortly after an …